tv U.S. House of Representatives CSPAN February 24, 2011 1:00pm-5:00pm EST
this weekend on american history tv on c-span 3, programs of the civil war including the use of espionage between the north and south and its effect on the war's outcome and the role of women providing care for soldiers and maintaining the home front and we will get a behind-the-scenes look at president ford's 1975 china trip. american history tv on c-span 3. for the complete we can schedule, go to c-span.org/ history. >> this is the palestine center in washington, d.c. we are here for one of several discussions being held in the recent weeks on the recent uprisings and violence in the middle east. this is the associated press report that says cities near the libyan capital are seeing gunfire and militiamen supporting moammar khaddafi. they have been striking back at anti-government protesters. 10 people were killed when the khaddafi supporters attacked.
this discussion at the palestine center in washington is about to get under way, live on c-span. [no audio] >> good afternoon, everyone. thank you all for coming today on behalf of the board of directors of the jerusalem fund and the palestine center which is bringing you this program today. welcome, it is great to have you here for a timely discussion on the events that are taking place throughout the middle east and their broader implications. i am happy today to have three great analysts to discuss this issue and their implications
with us. before i introduce them, i would like to remind you to turn off yourself odds are anything else that might distract our attention from our speakers today. for the audience that is watching the live web cast on line, you can participate by sending in questions or comments via facebook and you can also send us messages through twitter @palestine center or hash tag palcenter. we're focused on the uprisings in the arab world. i will introduce our panelists in the order in which they will present i will then turn it over to them. michelle dunn was a former specialist at the state department and white house of middle east affairs and she served on assignments including
the national security council staff, the secretary of state policy planning staff, and the u.s. embassy in cairo. she holds a ph.d. in arabic language and literature from georgetown university where she is an adjunct professor of arabic studies. she is currently a researcher at the carnegie endowment for international peace. seated immediately to my left mynadia hajeb. she is a frequent public speaker and media commentators. she is a senior fellow at the institute for palestine studies. she is co-author of a portrait of palestine studies in israel. she is editor in chief or was of the london-based middle east magazine before joining the united nations where she established her own consulting business. of course, a man who certainly needs no introduction, ambassador maksoud is a
professor of law and international politics. he was chief of the league of arab states in india from 1961- 1966. he was appointed as the chief representative of the arab league to the united states and the united nations in september of 1979. it is great to have his perspective here. i want to mention that some of you may recall that ambassador maksoud spoke at our annual conference last year. in october, a few months before the events began in tunisia and then egypt and now throughout the arab world. he began his comments and than by saying that he is the living dinosaur of the arab world [laughter] and that he wanted to disclose his deficit before he spoke about his assets.
he said he is what irreconcilable and arab nationalist and he does not think there is a delivery of palestinian rights except for a moment of arab residents aunts and unity. -- our residents -- our reznor -- our renaissance and unity. --arab renaissance and unity. >> thank you to the palestine center for inviting me to be part of this panel. i will say a few quick words about the events in the region and i will comment on what this means for the united states and u.s. policy in the region. i think it was fareed zakaria describing these uprisings as a seismic shift in the region. i think he is right about that.
we are facing an entirely new chapter in the middle east. the effects of these uprisings in tunisia and egypt so far, libya on going and we will see where else it goes, will continue to spread for several years, at least. if some of these countries make successful transitions to democracy, indonesia, egypt, iraq which is still in a process. then the facts will last even much longer than that. it will be more than a few years. the grievances that motivated these uprisings and the phenomenon that set them off are quite widely shared. we are all aware of the allyouth bulge in the region which many
people have watched for a long time and wondering what kind of effected would have. unfortunately, the unemployment and underemployment that accompanied that youth bulge and a sense of disenfranchisement. at the same time, it is undeniable that the changing information environment, the fact that this young generation that was coming up had access to some much more information and so many different points of view from within their own country as well as from other countries and had the ability to be in touch via new media with many others and to exchange viewpoints a way that the generations before them did not -- could not do. i also think there has been an increasing focus over the last decade or so on domestic affairs inside of arab countries as opposed to foreign affairs.
that is not to say that people in arab countries don't care anymore about the events outside their own country. certainly, they do, about the palestine issue, about iraq and many other things. but definitely, there has been an intensified focus on what is going on inside their own countries. there is something that happened in the last few years which is a sense that their governments or perhaps a vulnerable and or not to be feared quite as much as they were in the past. i could go on and on about all these things which are very interesting to me but i don't want to take a lot of time. we can discuss them or if you want to. the case of libya, also, is pointing out quite painfully the significant differences. i don't want to overplay these
common issues among arab countries. i think a very frightening scenes we see playing out in libya now point out the difference between countries where there are strong institutions and countries where there are not. in tunisia and egypt, there was a cohesive military that was able to make a choice at some point between responsibility to the country and maintaining loyalty to a particular leader. unfortunately in libya, i think there is not and that is by the khaddafi design, the kind of cohesive military. we see this fragmentation and use of a higher level of violence against the population than we saw in tunisia and egypt.
quite a few people died in tunisia and egypt, as well. the implications, i think, for the united states and u.s. policy in this region are enormous. u.s. priorities, policy priorities, have been completely upset by this development. the obama administration came into office two years ago planning to work on israeli- palestinian peace, planning to engage with iran to try to prevent the emergence of iran as a nuclear power and frankly, it had no interest in what it saw as the failed freedom agenda of george bush. what we now see is that these demands for change in the region for democratic governments in the region have forced a's selves onto obama a
agenda. he has chosen wisely to get on the right side of this and to be in favor of the spread of democracy and human rights in the region. i think the administration is playing catch up. they are trying very much to show they were on top of these issues all along and were in favor of these things all along, but to be honest, there was not much attention and much priority given to these issues to what was happening inside arab countries and change that might be coming from inside arab countries. there was not much attention given to that at all. over the last couple of years. the two other issues that obama wanted to work on, of course, are still there. they are not going to go away. the palestinian situation, the
israeli-palestinian situation is unsustainable. i know that nqadia will talk more about that. and i think the obama administration does not know where to go with that issue right now. we have seen several chapters of frankly failed efforts on the palestine issue. i am not sure that they have a clear plan where to go with it now. unfortunately, they are dealing with an israeli government that has already shown no interest in reaching an agreement with the palestinians. they seem to be looking at regional events as a reason to do less rather than more about that. willy, i'm sure nadia have more to say about that. regarding iran, i think we have bought some time with the effective sanctions but the
issue will be back. i don't agree necessarily with the assessment that these changes that we see going on in the region and egypt and so forth are going to tilt the regional balance in favor of iran. i think the united states needs to do what it can going forward to encourage successful transitions to democracy in egypt, tunisia, as well as continuing to do that in iraq. let's hope there will be that opportunity in libya as well. in dealings with other countries, the united states will have to start raising much more seriously the kind of significant reform. there might still be time and other arab countries for leaders to take significant top down gradual reforms rather than the
kind of bottom up, much less predictable change we are seeing happening in countries. some leaders might be capable of doing that and others clearly are not. in libya, for example, there is and there never was a chance for real reform. by the khaddafi government. to helpn't do our best successful transitions in these countries where changes already under way, the alternatives are quite dire. i think the united states will have to learn new ways of working with democratic governments in these countries and it will need to grow a thicker skin as these governments are going to be more responsive to their public opinion when it comes to the kind of foreign policies they will have and the relations they will have with the united states and so forth. the model that the united states
has pursued which i have always thought of as a 19th century model of personalized diplomacy with an individual leader or a small group is not sustainable. it is a anachronistic. it will go out of fashion in the arab world. i am not saying any of this will be easy. i believe it can be done. i think the united states can have good relations with democratic countries in the middle east. they will have their ups and downs and those governments will make decisions we don't like or he liked people we don't feel comfortable with, i think these can ultimately be more mature and sustainable relationships. >> thank you very much. [applause] >> please, go ahead. >> thank you very much. it is a pleasure to be here,
back at the palestine center. it has been too long away. as michelle was saying, i think these days are filled for all abuzz with excitement, apprehension, energy, pope, and fear. also with irony. i could not help thinking how 1960 -- has since 1968 when the palestinian revolution imposed itself on the arabs seem, there was hope in the arab world that may be the palestinian revolution would lead to revolutions throughout the arab world. that's not happened. on the contrary, the arab regimes consolidated their power and the plo and the palestinian revolution faced repeated crushing military blows including in jordan in 1971 and lebanon in 82 and in the occupied territories many times and most recently the 2002
her of the israeli invasion and war of the cities. and in gaza in 2008-2009. many people are asking if the palestinian revolution is still alive. it is really fascinated to see the arab world being swept by non-military revolutionary movements. civilian uprisings which are using both new and old techniques and bringing together all ages and all religions. many of these techniques and approaches were in fact previously used by palestinians fada. first anti can the arab revolution resuscitate the palestinian revolution? i think perhaps the first and
most immediate impact of the egyptian/tunisian uprisings followed by yemen, bahrain, and libya as well as iraq has been too underscore that the arab people are willing to stand their ground and faced death and injury to demand their rights, their basic human rights including but not only the right to free and fair elections so that their governments can truly represent them and be accountable to them, to the electorate, so that state's budgets -- we forget about the budget -- state budgets are corruption fee and provide free and fair and meaningful opportunities. the remaining arab regimes, the ones that are not facing these uprisings, are trying to head off the process by either providing more money to people
and in other ways. similarly, the palestinian authority in remullah has gone from ordering the security forces to crack down to try to get closer to the people it claims to represent. furthermore, it is trying very hard to reclaim democratic credentials and revive mandates that have long since expired. as you know, the pa announced the cabinet reshuffle followed quickly by announcements from municipal and presidential elections before september. and, as you know, in the palestinian protests in the occupied territories, once the pa loosened up, the people demanded an end to the split between hamas and gaza and the
west bank. there is a response to popular feeling that hates this split. there is a disappearance of the mubarak-led policy on palestine and a loss of a major backer of mahmoud abbas. the pa is making gesturees toward hamas./ there are invitations from the ramullah-based center to join the government. they asked for a security patrol in did you and gaza strip. as long as hamas maintained their cease-fire with israel,
nothing else mattered and everything could be worked out as time goes on, we may look back at this statement as the beginning of the end of the three conditions of the quartet to have hamas join in the political process. suddenly, the palestinians are behaving in response to their own demands and needs and not in response to external imposed agendas. the arab revolutions have impacted on the pa's main backer, the united states. the plo and the pa stood their ground on the resolution concerning settlements. they refused to back down as requested in a 50-minute -- the u.s. had previously used carrots and sticks to get them to withdraw the resolution so they would not have to veto.
despite a 50-minute phone call from barack obama to mahmoud abbas, they refused to do so. that would have been unthinkable widespread the pa position was weakened. and it simply could not say yes to barack obama. it is interesting to see some elements of the fataah party and upping the ante in the relationship with the united states and a replay of the mouse that roared. you have the pa officials in east jerusalem breaking up contact with the u.s. consulate in jerusalem and refusing to accept any aid from the west. rather than the u.s. boycott in the pa or the palestinian
authority, the reverse is happening. should we see -- should we understand these moves as a ship to self-reliance -- as a shift to self-reliance or a way to buy time and stay in power? by the regime's? some of the pa moves have gimmicks. you have to fayad going on facebook and suggested ministers for his cabinet. to my mind, that is a bit gimmicky. the pa moves to not address the serious challenges that face the
palestinians. israeli attacks and gauze are continuing every day. arrests of west bank people including children are continuing every day. the intensive colonization of east jerusalem, nothing is stopping that. the explosion of palestinians, bedouins, and others from the homes and land and the west bank as well as in israel itself where the civil liberties of the palestinian citizens of israel remain under threat. none of that is challenged by these actions of the pa. as michaud pointed out, there has been a focus on the domestic affairs of different arab countries. this attempt to put the palestinian house in order by the pa by bringing hamas and fataah back together again is only scratching the surface. the most pressing demand of the palestinians was expressed well by the general union of
palestinians at the end of january in a statement in which they launched the beginning of a campaign for direct elections to the palestinian national council. this was for the reason of restoring -- find a way to restore the palestine liberation organization as the sole representatives of the palestinian people wherever they may be. this goes straight to the heart of the way palestinian governance has been skewed. they try to get stayed almost at any price. they are completely away from the movement for liberation and self-determination for the palestinian people. the pa has been beefed up at the expense of the plo which has been allowed to travel.
we have to give this importance because the student union is an integral member of the plo and has nurtured many of the palestinian leaders. they all started as leaders. it has some potential to begin or to joining a movement for change on the ground. the couple of words are looking to the future -- there are trends that will help the pa regime maintain its position including the fact that the west and western media remain vested in what i call the faydist dream of trying to get a state as well as growing support to the pa plan to see you and recognition of status in september. another key factor supporting -- allowing the pa to stay on could be a hamas willingness to
strike a deal so they can stay in power. they would strike a deal and other factions would join them or not as they want. the pas could perpetuate regime in the west bank and gaza but none of it will help to shake israel's control of the territories. on the other hand, there may be a real palestinian authority against the regime or regimes clamming representation starting from grass-roots black students and perhaps spreading to other unions as well as palestinian community in exile to revive the plo said that palestinians have authentic representation of their aspirations for freedom and self-determination. for the palestinians, just as much as other arab sisters and brothers, the outcome will depend on the extent that they are able to stay the course and impose their will.
thank you very much [applause] >> these two introduction's really point the way for me to say one, that we are at this moment of history at the palestine center and palestine remains center. in that sense, i will now try disabuse some people of the revolutions that are taking place now and in perhaps the planning stages in the rest of the arab nations. you will excuse me that i will mention the term 'arab nation.'
that still does not sink in. the fact that the interrelationships that have developed among these movements with similar objectives meant that the arab world was a wealthy nation of poor people. how to restructure or understand -- how do we structure or understand the dynamics of these revolutionary developments? i say revolutionary developments because they have not been -- they have not fulfilled the revolution itself. they have constituted a breakthrough and empowering
political atmosphere, a removal of those who obstructed the path of revolution. revolution in this context cannot be perpetual. rick the revolution is the blockage -- the revolution is the blockage to the air. when the evil legionary process evolutionary process is coming through, there is a denial of human rights and human needs through the power of governmnance, route was most of the time, then revolution becomes the instrument of restoring historic evolution to its normal course. if we understand this to mean what took place in the arab world than we can come to grips
with an easier understanding about why the united states in particular have always identified stability with in mobility. -- immobility. there is perhaps a reassessment taking place. stability in a poor nation with rich people is provocative. with the communications revolution it speeds up the awareness and the consciousness. what is taking place throughout
the arab world is a transcendence to a very large extent of the diverse components of what constitutes an arab. because the arab has been traditionally translated or interpreted as sort of an ethnic, perhaps religious entity, these movements, especially of the young, the trade unions in atunis women have transit antranscended plurm into diversity. they are celebrating diversity and rejecting the split of what constitutes pluralism.
hat is where the term 'arab' becomes more relevant because it is becoming and identified with diversity and with the notion of equal citizenship. this is why lebanon still remains a healthy civil society and they boast a most reactionary system of governance. lebanon is in complete sympathy with what is taking place in the level of secret -- social society and word about it
pluralistic system becoming a system of diversity. diversity in the sense that you don't eliminate particularism, but you bring it into a salad bowl of repopulation. as i read today in the papers and the fears yesterday and expressed by mr. natanyahu about the iranian model. iran is becoming the most important regional power. let me also try to reconstruct this growing realistic assessment which is not realistic. i will put it in quote marks. what is more relevant if you want to have a paradigm in the
region, what is more relevant for this arab national of people? -- national of people. is turkey, not iran. iran might have been an attraction when it overthrew the shah of iran and promised but turkey has the ball to any more -- as of all to in a more peaceful way. --has evolved in a more peaceful way. the anxieties of israel and some of the basic neil conservatives in this country, what about everything they could not understand? the youth came and got in power. they attracted the most educated students and teachers in egypt.
all they can think of is what about the moslem brotherhood. the moslem brotherhood took three days to join. they had to join when they're younger elements move into liberty square entire rear. ir. tahrui the moslem brotherhood is basically achieving success in certain sections. if u.s. exclude them, you deny a legitimacy of the upheaval and the uprising that took place. in terms of responsibility, even the most strongest advocates of islam in their fundamentalist views are definitely impacted by the liberal debt to democratic
edessa social atmosphere that is emerging in accompanying the of people in egypt. he upheaval in egypt. the leader for their first set we are not going to ask women whether to join a hajeb or not. they are beginning to realize that the fear of islam is being replaced by the impact of liberal democracy m dateuslims who felt it was their only anchor for opposition and that is why many of them have experienced suffering and discrimination. there are lots of issues. unfortunately, i think there is now, i hope, a temporary exception between the two countries which are still not
amenable for this democratic transformation and due apologies to the new neo conservatives, iraq is not one of the democratic achievers. eaters lebanon. -- neither is lebanon in the real sense of the word. they are sectarian, predicated on a sectarian divide. they are pluralistic in their society run like what happened un --like what happened in tahrir square muslim brothers protective the cops in their careers for their martyrs and the christiancops protected muslims during their prayer.
how does this impact? how do we see this? it was in tunis expediting the process. they were focused on having a revolution. all the sudden, within two-three weeks, egypt, which is central. i know some people say with wishful thinking and part reality that this is an egyptian, not an arab -- they are afraid to say it is in arabic. of course, the observers, the experts, the think tanks. they say it is nothing to do with being an arab.
they say it is nothing to do with palestine and the real sense of the world. the proof of matter is that the army assumed the power of transition and said we will maintain our international agreements and our relations with israel. maybe, maybe, i'm not saying it is not possible let me say one thing. i know a little bit about egypt. if, from now on, let me be very clear, and assertive and it is not wishful thinking. if there is immaturity -- in purity for the last 30 or 40 years in the and occupied
territories continues, this time, egypt will have imposed a cost on it. it is not going to make sense for israel to do what it is doing in the west bank and gaza. impunity will be penalized. oh, a penalty will take, at this moment, i cannot state. the maturity of israel -- --the impunity of israel, these people leading power who will be the recipients of the government, the army recognized the legitimacy. is now transferring the legality through a transitional
period. when legality and budget this may get together, then there will be a reassessment. there will be an assistance, peace between egypt and israel. we want to know what is the status? what is the status of the israeli presence in the west bank and gaza? you would say occupied. does israel acknowledge this is an occupying power? aren't settlements there reflection of ownership? of nott a reflection under a job only, of progress? therefore, that kind of
avoiding and allowing somebody like these guys to manage the relationship with the palestine authorities is one of the greatest and dethrones of reason in dealing with the palestinians. the internal priorities are for them to expand what they have achieved. thank you very much. [applause] we will pass around a microphone so we can take questions. by a show hands, how many questions do we have now? i want to mention that for those following the web cast, you can sending your comments at this
this is really the fruition of the richardfoch 20 years ago called globalization from below. it is spreading to wisconsin. it completely undermines the corporate model of globalization. >> anyone want to take a stab at why we failed to see any of this? >> just briefly, look, if we look at -- there were these trends and i mention them. there was a huge bulge, the demographics, the change in information, the fact that there was a young generation coming up that was willing to keep playing by the rules that their parents had played by in terms of the relationship between citizens of their -- and their government but these things are -- were seen as a bit and amorphous.
let me speak of the last couple of years when the current administration came in. they felt that a lot of damage had been done to bilateral relations between the united states and the governments of muslim majority countries and they set themselves to that task of improving government to government relations. they returned to a very traditional conception of diplomacy. they were much less focused on the peoples of these countries and what the u.s. relationship with them is or to try to understand what was going on with them. there were a number of people saying that this is anachronistic. you are conducting diplomacy in a way that is no longer effective and works. it has taken these events to really bring that up to the surface.
>> i have two questions. i have one regarding the elections of the national council and the other is regarding israel. regarding the palestinian national elections, one of the key factors to the restoration of the palestinian unity is the info command of hamas and the plo. do you see any potential for hamas joining the plo under the current situation? my second concern is israel, when the revolution was going on in egypt, one of the israeli government's spokespersons said
israel is not interested in the regina change in egypt. >> first of all, when the plo was conceived, it was an organization of palestinian people. it was to assert an identity for the right of refugees to return and liberate. it was called the palestinian liberation organization which meant it was the framework of palestinian people. of course, hamas at that time was not present early on until 1987. the plo is to be represented.
it is not representative of all the palestinian people. the advocacy of having to restore palestinian national unity is that hamas has to be included in the framework of the palestinian liberation organization. it cannot be an alternative or excluded. this is going to be a catalyst movement within the palestinian organizational structure. the second question is, of course, israel considers stability. they believe it should be stagnated around them, not
stable. therefore, it uses the term ' stable' because stability as a reaction. they fulfill their objectives. want to stabilize. when it is missed -- mixed with stagnation, there is no one wants to change and they have proven that. there are anxieties at this moment that lie more with in each of undersadat and particularly under mr. mubarak where they were selling the gas at 1/3 of the price they were charging the egyptian people. they were having lots of advantages. they did not have the need of breaking relations.
these stagnation is don't mean stability in the usual connotation especially when it indicates the arab region and especially when it pertains to the stability in the perpetuation of the peace treaty as it has been pepys. it has to be changed at a later stage. >> i think what scares me is that hamas had negotiations with fateh. why the demands was to reconsider the plo. hamas still pays at least lip service to the palestinian to return.ight
what one has to look for is whether because the people who are on a grand can control -- have more power to control the what happens then the people in exile. that would enable them to stay on even in the current situation that does not bring about freedom not even for the occupied territories. i think that is what would be worrying. >> let me add one more point. the veto that was practiced on -- last week was the culmination. president obama, with the most
decent of requests asked f toreeze the settlements for 10 months. you don't freeze them, you dismantle them. you don't alter the geographic or demographic character of this territory. inasmuch as the legal basis for there is no negotiations. there are discussions, of course. palestinian police are drawn from the youtube might be part of the resistance. yes, you might have regrets. you don't freeze settlements. low andput the bar solso are no negotiations, one of the victims of this process was unfortunately senator mitchell.
acknowledge this is an occupied territory under the geneva convention, it becomes almost hopeless. the best proof of it is not av veto.e america could have abstained to keep and atmosphere going. that is my opinion. [applause] >> in the interest of time, we will take a few questions. i saw hands up here, right here, and can get the microphone up. we will come over there, as well. >> [inaudible] this is directed to dr. dunn.
i was confused by the explanation that and basilarrice said at the u.n. during the vote. she voted against the decision. at the same time, she said this should not mean that we think the settlements are illegal what does that mean? it does not make sense at all to me. do you expect any change? there is an article today that says obama is slow in reacting. >> let's go to the other side. >> [inaudible]
what about non-violence? i have been so impressed that all of these movements have taken such a non-violent approach to their revolution. i wonder what impact that will have on the palestinian movement. and what impact it will have across the arab world to witness such change without the protesters taking up arms. as you will get references to mahatma gandhi and the non- violence movement and dr. king, when you think that will happen and will be sustainable in the future? >> let's go right next to her for another question. >> i work for a u.s. government
body that shall remain nameless. i am not speaking on their behalf. i doubt that the u.s. not getting involved in these processes will be an option. i wonder what it is that we can do it ways that don't fall into the traps that we often fall into where we are looking for personalized leadership. we might be trying to manipulate local politics and wait one of not doing a good job of it. we have our old fears of muslims that we have to overcome. one of the things we do that would be the most help the cause the least amount of harm and in one sense is doing nothing a useful option? >> those are three different questions. would anyone like to begin? >> i could start the question on non-violence which is a very good question on how it will
impact. one thing that i find frustrating is a mess palestinians resort to violence. the palestinians have had several nine days of violent uprisings in their history including 36 -- 1936-1939 and including the first fataah which for five years was almost a completely non-a violent uprising which had a huge impact on public opinion around the world of fortunately, the plo did not know how to translate into political power. however, i think that now seeing how nonviolence can leave a tangible results will give it additional push within the palestinian context to two non go -- ongoing nonviolent struggles. what is the struggle against the war which has been underway for
five or six years and in which people are paying a heavy price to go protest against their lands being confiscated as well as the boycott investment and sanctions movement. i think that will spread into other countries. on your question of what should the i like the option of doing nothing, actually. i think that would be a good, healthy approach. there is nothing to stop the u.s. in terms of treating the region to control or see the resources as is to manage. you can treat the arab countries as if they were britain or france or a sovereign nation. no one will stop selling oil but they could be a sovereign nation that will interact with
sovereign nations. the days are not over. the sooner the better. >> briefly on these three questions. look on the veto of the u.s. security council. i think president obama had wanted not to use the veto at the security council not at all. clearly, they did it reluctantly. it was many years of past practice and intense pressure from the congress and coming in the midst of this crisis and so forth. they did what they did. regarding the use of non-by a lens and the impact on the region -- non-violence and the
impact on on the region, we will have to look at the situation. they started out in a non- violent way. at the moment, it is notable that al qaeda has been pretty quiet. this is not their model of change in the region, that people could bring about non- pilot change. it succeeds in bringing about democratic governments that people are reasonably satisfied with. i think it will be an important model. regarding with the united states can do, i will differ with you a little bit, nadia. i think, first of all, we are going to have to deal with these
governments who are asking for assistance from the united states. especially a country like egypt, a former major ally and a recipient. -- aid recipient. now they are making a transition to democracy. i do not think that is an option. i think that, in the assistance package to egypt, the assistance needs to be rethought. i think it is inappropriate in this new era. it needs to be revisited. the kind of assistance the united states offers in these cases, we should do what we can understanding we are outsiders and understanding there will be other europeans that will be involved with the development of systems in these countries,
democratic systems. to stay a little distance from the outcomes. i agree that we should not be trying to pick winners and that kind of thing. >> non-violence. there is no question. i live in india for six years. non-violence should be the means of resistance, resistance through demonstrations, through being conscious of the world, through the dramatic [inaudible] of the united nations. that distinguishes it from terrorism. it does not mean dropping be option.
-- the ooptption. this becomes passivity and not peaceful resistance. resistance and involves all of the options as a first option. and militancy as the last option. that is where hamas made a mistake. that transfer is resistance to the bench. -- to revenge. that is where the palestinian authority dropped resistance as an option in order to make way for peaceful negotiations. what can america do at this moment? and not do much. let me say why. it is committed to strategic
superiority. with the f-35 going to israel, it is committed to the strategic as a constant relationship with the region. with this new -- would this new revolution developing in the arab world except that 280 million people equal 25 million or 30 million is really is approximately? t -- 30 million israelis? i do not think it can be sustainable. the second thing is that
president obama has made priorities. this is a temporary priority that is taking place. his priority is the priority of financial and social security. he has a congress, when they get a letter from the congressman, they immediately sign. 129 congressmen said that, because of him asking for freezing, we are exercising undue pressure on our only ally. how he likes to calculate the paralysis that they can inflict on his other agenda politically because israel has become a
political factor in the united states' policy-making? know what is saying abandon israel. if it is going to be on the basis of continued strategic superiority over the palestinians and over the arab world in general, it is going to be included when legitimacy becomes legal. it is going to be included in many revisions of the egyptian policy and others. if i have any kind of appeal to the senators since 1986 when they signed something and senator biden, whom i visited in
beirut -- he invited me for breakfast. he said, what do you want us to do? i said nothing. the arabs are a gullible people. just give us the impression that you believe what you are saying. since then, he was upset with me. in a sense, what i am say is that the consistency of conscience which elected obama and now is widespread in the united states, to counteract the notion of strategic superiority and to extract from israel -- they have the influence to do it -- to extract from israel that you are an
occupying power. until 1976, the united states treat it as occupied. now they might say occupied, but they do not treat it as such. the peace process is a process without peace. the road map is a road without a map. >> we are over on time. thank you very much. [applause] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011]
>> president obama spokesmen took a number of questions on libya. that briefing underway right now. you can follow it on c-span 2. the president will be meeting with british prime minister david cameron. the british will put its weight through -- weight onto an effort to expel muammar gaddafi. the libyan leader spoke earlier today for about 20 minutes by phone on libyan state tv. he said osama bin laden and al qaeda are inciting be protests in libya. here is a statement translated
in english courtesy of the al jazeera network. >> at night, they go out and are given these drugs. they add it to them milk and their coffee and other drinks. -- their milk and coffee and other drinks. onece they drink the milk, they go out and start committing criminal acts. and they even went to court and destroyed the records, the criminal files. they have been destroyed.
they don't even know what to do with them. they don't know how to use them. -- from egypt or tunisia. those were people who were working against the government. the authority is in your hands. you can change it any way you wish. you can put who you suspect of corruption on trial. it is your call. where are the elderly, the tribal leaders? where are the heads of the syndicate and the lawyers and the professionals?
you have reasonable, legitimate demands. we can discuss it and negotiate about it. their requests come from the [unintelligible] why did the government get involved in these issues like osama bin laden and related matters? there are people teaching them how to misbehave. those enemies have been training your kids. those are the ones who are under been lot and - bin laden's
influence. they are the ones giving the drugs to kids. we have to capture them and take them to criminal justice. this is your country and these are your people. how can you justify such behavior? ?or misbehaving people who used to live in peaceful neighborhoods where goods and supplies were available at reasonable prices. when people get older, they have
needs. what is the need for armed robbery is? -- armed robberies? what is the need to get involved with osama bin laden? from tonight or tomorrow, each one should look after his own family and his own children. take care of them. he cannot carry firearms and run around in the streets. and you do not see people who have family responsibilities like people who are married with children or who hold senior
positions. they will never carry out such acts. no one with a bit of sense would ever get involved with these matters. no one above the age of 20 would actually take part in these events. people with any brains would not take part in these matters. they are taking advantage of the young age of these people because they are not legally liable for punishment. people from 15 to 18, they are still given a nickname in
tripoli. you have to go to a particular ills.to get p that is the hub for selling these drugs. that is where the kids go. they are actually practicing today at. it makes them feel -- they are actually practicejudea. -- practicing judea. it makes them feel high. libyans are not dragged into this. this is nonsense. shame on you.
you had in the because we were living decent lives. -- you had envy because we were giving -- living decent lives. obeyed the profit and those in charge of your communities. this issue is one by al qaeda. it has been taking place by arm -- between armed young people, our children. our children are incited by people who are wanted by america
and the western world. those are limited and few in numbers. those are the ones we need to capture. you had no reason not to enjoy a decent life. get control of your children. keep them at home. those young teenagers, they are carrying machine guns. they feel trigger happy. they shoot, especially when they get stoned with drugs. my brothers, don't you have wise men in your area, people who can
make the right decisions? men do not care to go out on the streets. think that [unintelligible] should rethink about what has been happening? even those in the muslim brotherhood, whom we have been accusing of pointing the finger at, they are not involved in these latest events. those are the followers of the early age of islam.
the muslim brotherhood, they have political demands. they want to apply the islamic sharia law. they need to be recognized as a political party. they want to become a party like other parties. a long time ago, they [unintelligible] , but they have not. what has been the major factor in all of this is al qaeda and osama bin laden. they have been worried that the
oil flow will stop. i wonder how we will take care of our families. the majority of the civilians are on arms. -- unarmed. if they do not go to work as regularly, the flow of oil will stop. then, how can we sustain a life? life was easy. loans were available at low interest. people were taking loans to buy property, to buy cars, to get married. they had a 20-year payback.
communities. as far as i am concerned, i am only tried to show pragmatism and give you parental advice. otherwise, i should not care. i do not enforce regulations. people like the queen of britain, elisabeth ii, does not have the authority to enact laws. and that is exactly like my situation. in these neighborhoods, those who have taken your kids away
from you and given them the pills, they are launching a campaign. against your children. they tell them not to listen to their parents, not to obey their father or mother. do not listen to your parents. do not let them ruin your kids. if people disobey their parents and end up destroying their country, the same case as in britain, where the queen has
been reeling for 57 years. like the same situation, i do not have the authority to impose rules upon the people. i have become more of a symbolic leader. there are institutions that handle these issues. we have the popular committee here and everybody is represented. those should look after these issues. i do not particularly care about this. i am not interested. it is not a matter of authority. this is an international thing
that has been spreading all over the world. [unintelligible] flat in the entire areas. -- flattened entire areas. they were accused of having links to osama bin laden. it is all because of been lot and. -- it is american- = all because of osama bin laden. they are fighting al qaeda and they are fighting terrorism. he has a wrist certain parts of our country. they don't care about you. they do not care about our
agriculture industry. all they want is to kill your kids. so they can have control. that is exactly what osama bin laden wants. he should be happy now. jihadist ideas. that is not jihad. the older jihad was when we had the italians occupying our land. i had handed over authority to you in 1930 -- in 1977. you should take responsibility for your country. even then, they did not believe
they could achieve so much success in terrorizing the country. main roads, of isolate areas, close banks as well as education institutions. as the proverb says, if you carry a leaking back of water, it will make your backside wet. that is your responsibility. it is none of my concern anymore. if you are happy about living this way, you are my people.
you should pay attention to your children. look after them. take them away. find those responsible for inciting them and take them to court. we do not know when this violence is going to come to an end. it is clear. you should take the guns away from the kids. this is the responsibility of all parents, fathers, mothers, and family members. and then you should arrest those behind them, the ones who have caused all this mess. my condolences to the families
of those four people killed from the security forces. i wonder if osama bin laden is going to help compensate the families. here i wait hoping that the town of 1000 marchers -- 1000 martyrs -- please do not disappoint me. otherwise, they might take things in their own hands and rid the country of this dark cloud.
peace be on the people. algeria,s neighbor, neighbor,- lifte algeria, official elected a state of emergency. officials say hillary clinton will head to geneva next week to coordinate the u.s. role when she attends the human rights council meeting in geneva. as we get more information, we will pass along the details to you. at 4:30 p.m., we will take you live to the kennedy space center for the final launch of the space shuttle discovery. it is the final flight after 143 million miles. the coverage getting under way = = underway at -- underway at
4:30 p.m. >> we will have live coverage of the national governors' association winter meeting. >> there is a new way to get a concise event of the day's ebay. it is "washington today." we will take you anywhere news is happening. we will take you anywhere news is happening and put the vent in perspective. every weekday, 5:00 p.m.- 7:00 p.m. eastern time. you can also go on line and c- span.org. it is also available as an iphone application.
>> i know it will be a challenge in this particular environment. we will work to support that so that the vision in your new initiatives can be brought to fruition. this is an inaugural event of the public lands program we are doing here at the center for american progress. we have some colorado rich, mr. secretary. the great outdoors has been a central part of our character. it played a central role in our founding in shaped the vision of our founding fathers and the
laws they crafted to govern the nation. it is anchored by our unmatched natural resources. after centuries of development, our growth began to read -- threaten the lands and waters. theodore roosevelt started a tradition to set aside the most treasured places to be used and protected in a way that preserves them for future generations. president roosevelt said it is not what we have that makes us a great nation, it is the way we use it. i was fortunate enough to serve under a great environmental president, the only want to grow up near a national park. president clinton recognized that our land and waters where central to our prosperity and
our national spirit. working with a great group of people, including the vice president and many others, he protected more land in the lower 48 states than any other presidents before him, including five new national parks, 19 national monuments. he took care to preserve existing national plans. he protected chorus -- protected forests. they tried mightily, but the heart of the rule is preserved under the secretary's leadership and will move forward. the administration tried to focus on what teddy roosevelt caused -- teddy roosevelt called the long work ahead.
with ken salazar is doing exemplifies that spirit. protectiontal enhances our economic goal as a country. protecting public health and safety does not come at the expense of our national bottom line. we can survive without hurting the air we breathe. when it comes to a healthy economy and a healthy environment, the president got it right. we can and must have both. the notion that the environmental protection can further our economic interest is clear today than ever before. it is particularly true when it comes to protecting our public lands. the is the people visit the public parks generating tens of billions of dollars in revenue and supporting hundreds of thousands of recreation and tourism jobs. overall, every federal dollar
invested in national parks generates $4 of economic dowdy. the emotional and spiritual value of our public lands for this generation and generations to come cannot be measured. it exceeds the capacity to measure how we feel about those public spaces. the vast majority of americans recognize these benefits. they believe treasured lands and waters should be protected. with so much at stake, the public has important opinions and disagreements on the way public lands are protected and use. when i served in the government, we sometimes learn that the hard way. it is critical and important that under secretary salazar's leadership, the obama administration is taking a careful and effective approach to its great outdoors initiative. the administration held 51 public listening sessions across the nation to determine local y's needs.
there were 100,000 comments overall. those comments will be used to craft the consummation agenda that speaks to states, tribes, grass-roots groups, and reconnect america with the traditions that make our country great. i am sure that our speakers have far more to say about the initiative of the imitation. let me turn the floor over to them. it is my pleasure to introduce secretary ken salazar. he was unanimously confirmed as secretary of the interior in 2009. prior to his confirmation, he served as colorado's the effect united states senator. he created -- 35th united states senator. he was the executive director of
the colorado department of natural resources. he has been a true champion of farmers, members of the world -- rural world community. we are pleased he was able to be with us today to speak with his initiative to move forward. we also have doug, who is recognized as one of the best historians of his generation. on topics ranging from 20th- century presidents, to war, to consummation. his latest book, "the wilderness warrior," scales the best-seller list. it won a book award.
he is a tenured professor of history. doug, welcome. i am going to turn the event over to you. mr. secretary, doug. [applause] >> good morning. thank you all for coming. great to be with you, mr. secretary. what we are going to do is go for about 30 minutes. i am going to ask questions and we will collect cards from people in the audience who have asked a question. we will get to as many as we can. let's begin with america's outdoors. what is it and what is it going to tell us about the obama administration's du of conservation?
-- view of concentration? -- of conservation? >> one of the first bills in this congress was the 2009 omnibus. it created 1,000 miles of scenic rivers. that was the down payment. moving forward, we have been doing a lot of things in the everglades and the -- in the foothills and areas in canada. we needed to go out and understand the reality of the american public and what they saw as consummation. the listening sessions were led by people all over the country listening to people all over the united states. given the reality of today in
2010, 2011, what should we be doing for conservation? it is different from when teddy roosevelt declared large parts of the american continent, the american west, as areas to be preserved. we have a new reality with a new population. the great outdoors report is a road map to move forward in the conservation agenda. >> what were the types of groups you listen to? who did you talk to across america to bring together in this report? >> there was an incredible assembly of people. some of them are here today. there were ranchers, and our nurse, and may years, and governors, -- farmers, mayors and governors. this is a unity agenda that supports conservation.
there are democrats, for sure. but there are republicans to understand that conservation is a way to protect these fatality of communities across the country. there are about 6.5 million jobs created from outdoor conservation. >> i am traveled the west quite a bit. we hear from ranchers in particular and also people dealing with natural gas deals and mineral rights. somehow the federal government is continuing to lock up the land and the obama administration plan is to lock up the land. how do you respond to that? >> it is absolutely not true. we continue to look at 20% of the land mass of the united states that we manage with the department of agriculture. we use those public plans for a
lot of different things. when you look at the oil and gas development on public lands, there are 40 million acres being used for oil and gas development. at the same time, when we look at wilderness, we believe it is important to protect those. if you do a quantitative comparison, less than 9% of all the lands in the states are in wilderness status. everything else is used for a lot of different kinds of things. we try to strike the right balance. under the authority that we have and i have as the secretary of the interior, protecting the areas of wilderness is a responsibility i have been something we have the authority to do. >> as a historian, i want to ask you. what other interior secretaries have you gotten inspiration
from? let me name two. stuart udall. did you learn anything from him as interior secretary? >> we had a composition about people who have inspired me. was one of the people who inspired me. i was his son tom being sworn in. he gave me a road map for the kinds of things he wanted to see accomplished our cause of asian and things he did not quite get done -- accomplished for conservation and things he did not quite get done. he is somebody to follow. secretary babbit was mentioned in the introduction. you know more about this than i do.
if you go back and start looking at some of the matters that were taking on -- that were taken on by undersecretaries, we have a legacy. bruce babbit and udall are good friends and i look up to them. >> they were great supporters of the antiquities act of 1906, meaning keeping the ability to create national monuments. theodore roosevelt established it. i have read a little bit of press action coming out of the tea party movement. are you willing to embrace and make sure the antiquities at stays on the books and make sure there is not an -- act stays on the books and make sure there is not an overturning of that? >> absolutely.
president obama and this administration do not want to give up that authority. having said that, one of the things we are doing differently in america also great outdoors is that we are listening to what communities want us to do. one of the chapters in the great outdoors report indicates we will reach out to the american public and listen to communities across the united states to find out which of those areas they believe are appropriate for my e-mail designation under the antiquities act. -- appropriate for designation under the antiquities act. >> one of the separate -- one of the separate places i would like to see is the national park in the state of maine. i was wondering, do you get frustrated at all?
you have been down to fraud -- down to florida where wildlife conservation was born. there are these boardwalk planks of all these wildlife refuges. do you get frustrated about this political climate and the fact that so much has already been saved and you will not be able to create a trophy less like some previous presidents did. >> for me, it is not about creating a trophy list. i am excited about what it is we can do. i will give you two examples. what is in kansas where the last remaining 1.6 million acres will go into a wildlife refuge. when i went to the meeting where we dedicated the area, i sat around the table with about 30
stakeholders who helped us in the creation. it included traditional conservation organizations like the nature conservancy and others. it included the kansas wildlife association, the cattleman'en's association. there was a recognition in the kansas that this was good for the economy and good for preserving the environment. we have done the same thing with the waters of the everglades. we have a new national wildlife refuge. the everglades and the wildlife refuge represents the single most successful world heritage ecosystem restoration system on the planet. we have lots of other ideas we are moving forward with in an agenda i am crowd of. i am excited about the opportunity to do some things
few people get a chance to do. what has happened is starkly in the public domain is that they have been checkerboard. we want to work in partnership with private landowners to connect the landscapes for wildlife and for other ecological values that allow us to manage the lands it as a whole rather than in a fragmented way. >> we hear about the wildlife corridor, like a checkerboard. the administration seems spot on in addressing this. where can we create a wildlife corridors? where can this happen in the united states? >> it can happen everywhere. we have wildlife, fish, and ecological body in every state and committee of our country.
it is just a matter and willingness of local communities and a partnership with the united states government in the places where we can provide financial incentives for people to come together to create the this kindctivity -- of activity. i think there are four the essential elements. we want to create the next generation of parks that will take us from new york harbor in the hudson to st. louis and the arch and how that is connected to mississippi and the great courthouse serving the st. louis population. that is what outcome. the second would be how we connect these world --rural landscapes. there are many around the
country. the third hour our rivers. we need to put a focus on american -- are our rivers. we need to take care of these places where the first 400 years of european civilization -- people turned their backs to reverse. they became the wasteland and places to dump industrial waste. what has happened now is that we are turning our face toward those rivers. they are economic generators the fina point. a final point is the connection to use. the administration has talked about a youth conservation corps. i have heard a u.s. fish and wildlife climate corps. how are you going to get people
involved and engaged with their national parks, monuments, and wildlife refuges? the twowill happen in way. we have 21,000 young people working with us. it were not working with the department of interior until we started this initiative. we are creating the next generation of consummation leaders. i am proud of that. there are other agencies in the federal government helping to do that. secondly, we have a tremendous opportunity within the united states and beat, the interior because we get so many people come and see these special places we have. whether its glacier national park where our glaciers are disappearing or places that tell the story of immigration, how we
use the assets that we have as custodians of america's heritage to educate him people about our country is a phenomenal opportunity -- young people about our country is a phenomenal opportunity. we can integrate the educational opportunities we have in the interior with our school system. >> are you worried about melting glaciers? i was in the glacier bay. a lot of the glaciers are not just reseeding. they are disappearing. have you look into climate change and why so much of this frozen alaska is melting? >> for me, i think i have the greatest cabinet job in the united states of america. john podesta might agree with me.
i get to go from sea to shining sea. it is part of my responsibility as interior secretary to watch over these things. in the state of maine, there were a lot of things happening in the national park. i was in wisconsin where lake superior is now 5 degrees warmer than it was 30 years ago. i was asking scientists with that would mean to the climate. we flew around the national park and saw the disappearance of the glaciers. the scientists are telling me that the glaciers in glacier national park will disappear by the year 2020. that is a years. -- eight yfears.
ears. the colorado river is the place where most of our agricultural products are coming from. we expect to see a 20% decline in the mouth of water available for recreational uses. it is an initiative that needs to be addressed. it is part of what we are trying to do. >> when you bring these matters to president obama asked you go to these places, the report a concern about the disappearing glaciers, the rising tides? >> we have an ongoing dialogue about these issues. the president received the report. from his push on both conservation as well as the push to grasp the new energy future for america -- in my role in the
interior, we have been able to move forward with renewable energy in a wave that has never happened before. in 2010, we permitted energy from the desert to the southwest. we are basically capturing the power of the sun to capture our -- to help our economy. >> how can renewable energy be used on public lands. how can the government raise money? what is the interior's vision on that? >> we have a significant role to play. we manage 30% of the land mass of the united states.
if you exit fee take the southwestern portion of our country, that is where we have the greatest potential for solar energy development. we will make believers out of skeptics who say it cannot be done because we have already have had groundbreakings the will become the largest facilities in the world. once the electricity from those solar plants get on the grid, and people start seeing how we transfer of the energy, it will make believers out of the skeptics. we have a significant role to play. we have spent a lot of time recognizing that every place does not have to be used for solar energy or wind energy development. our concept is smart from the start. we need to be complete.
>> you have released a 10-year vision for our national wildlife refuges. we have over 500, and they are spectacular places saving habitat for all of this wildlife. the u.s. office of wildlife does an incredible job of managing these. the wildlife refuges are remarkable. what is the 10-year vision on how to use them properly? >> we want to move forward with the next generation of national wildlife refuges, and the reality that we have today is that we have an asset of the laws of the american people of
150 million acres. these are some of the greatest pieces of land and water areas in the world from the pelican islands to the alaska wildlife refuge, to so many other places around our country. what we need to do is figure out where we are going in the next generation, and one of our challenges is to make sure we are connecting with young people and have them understand what our systems do. there is a chapter on that. planning documents will tie in nicely with what we are doing with the americas great outdoors, including the planning that went on in the creation of the conservation area. one of the things we will identify are different candidates for additional wildlife refugees. >> you mentioned the alaska wildlife refuge, which is very
controversial because there is oil there. will the obama administration hold the line there will be no oil drilling in the wildlife refuge while the president is in office? >> yes. the president was clear on that. he was clear on that during his time as a u.s. senator and during the time he has been president, so let as our position in. >> we have the bp still report come out earlier this year, and a lot of your clock was eaten up having to grapple with that the peace bell. where are we have in the gulf right now? what is going on in the wetlands, and from a conservation point of view, what is interior doing that is making that is a killer echoes system stronger and more viable for long -- that particular act
goes system stronger and more viable for a long term health? >> we have approximately 35 die- hards and wildlife refuges in the gulf of mexico and we have a huge interest in making sure they aren't protected and reserves -- are protected and preserved. it was a tragedy for the nation, and there are a lot of lessons to be learned. we will move forward in a way that hopefully will bring -- bring about a new gold standard for environmental protection. i would also say that in many ways, i think the koran possibility is here that for the first time, we will be able to embark on a serious gulf coast restoration effort, and that is funded, and will allow us to take the northern mississippi delta, which had been so degraded by the hand of man, and we will be able to restore the
water from the mississippi river to have that delta rise again. we will be able to take the barrier reefs and ivan's -- islands that protect the gulf, and make more out of it than we have and we will be able to invest in other areas. bp is liable, responsible under the law for natural resource damages, and the president has endorsed the recommendations by us that says that the penalties ought to be paid by the companies that have liability here. and the fines should go into ecological restoration. what we have here is the possibility of turning this tragedy in the gulf of mexico into what will be one of the most significant ecological restoration efforts in the history of the united states of
america. >> would that include opening up the floodgates of the mississippi river that has been generalized to allow a sentiment into the gulf marshlands? >> >> we have identified a list of projects, several billion dollars' worth, some of which relates to the diversion structures off the mississippi river, because the eventual continued degradation of the delta is being caused in large part by the sediment-starved marshlands of the mississippi river delta of. there are projects set have been designed, and our close to permitting, that we could move forward with this and as we get the funding to be able to do it. >> i want to ask you a couple of personal questions. we deal with the world wildlife a lot, and sometimes it becomes bureaucratic.
as a rancher, is there a particular species you have taken of great interest in your life you want to make sure it stays safe, or healthy and fries? is there a particular wildlife that has drawn you in personally? >> the grizzly bear. it is an isotonic species. i hate to think that the grizzly bear or other kinds of species will the -- will not walk this planet, so that our children or our grandchildren can see it. there is a lot of debate about the endangered species act and what it does, but there is also the tremendous success. though hoping crane on the southwest river, the endangered fish, the grizzly, the ego, or so many other species 7 saved from extinction -- that have
been saved from extinction. it does not mean we cannot do things better. my hope is that we can, because of the end of the day the species are protected by how we protect the habitat. when we talk about america's great outdoors, and the connection of landscapes and wildlife corridors, and a focus on rivers were most of our species live, you are really looking at having constructive solutions and trying to get bad. for -- trying to get ahead. no one wants to list any species as threatened or endangered. if we can get ahead to the right type of landscape-scale conservation, we will be able to protect these iconic speak -- species per >> do you recall where you were when you first got a grizzly bear? eupepsia growing up to -- did you see one in growing up in the
wild? >> i have never seen one in the wild card i have seen a lot of bears -- in the wild. i have seen a lot of bears in the wild, but never a grisly. i hope, perhaps this summer, if i have a chance to go into alaska where we know there are grizzly bears, i will be able to see one. >> great. what does being a rancher in colorado and being connected to the land, why does that bring to be in interior secretary, -- what do you bring to being at the interior secretary? >> there is the philosophical stance that a rancher brings to the land. as a rancher and a farmer, you know that how you take care of the land will create your future, because if you do not take care of your web this year, in two, three, or four years, you have taken out your
own survival, so taking care of your land is essential to survival. i think most farmers and ranchers recognize that. number two, there is a political reality here that we need to bring ranchers and farmers together with conservation organizations and environmentalists to move forward the conservation agenda that is not as polarized as it sometimes can be. the story i told you about flints hills and the national conservation area there, it was a statement about american unity about how we're willing to protect the area and this wonderful it ecosystem. that template is have it all over america today, which is one of the things that makes me, as secretary, very excited about the americas great outdoors per >> the part i am interested in is the notion -- outdoors. the parts that i am interested in a the notion of the
wilderness. i get that many people live in congested cities and cannot get away. how does the interior department create an urban wilderness, and what actually is urban wilderness? what do we mean by that phrase? >> my hope is either the president, or reject the president in a difficult time has proposed for -- the president in a difficult time has proposed this to happen of the local level. we had conversations during the most difficult times of american history where you had president's standing up for conservation, where abraham lincoln stood up for yosemite. or, franklin the roosevelt in the middle of the dust bowl of
doing more for soil conservation and wildlife refuges. my view is that even though times are tough economically, it is also the time to invest in conservation because hopefully it is good economics. specifically, urban wilderness -- the best thing to do is give you an example. in my home state, in my hometown, denver, there used to be an abandoned military arsenal. it is located on the south platte river, not too far down the road from a wildlife refuge called the rocky mountain rocky flats. there are rivers and tributaries. it would be very easy, with the leadership of the governor and the mayor of denver, to create an urban wilderness experience
from those places that ties the 3 million people of the denver metropolitan area to these wilderness areas that are located right within the city. last week, i was in new york with their bloomberg. we were talking about the future of the new york harbor and the estuary. we all, as the united states of america, about 27,000 acres of land, including jamaica bay. the fact is we have never connected it all out soon in new york and its future. it is a huge opportunity connect 18 million people into these wild life experiences. i expect that by the end of this year we will have in place in new york city the greatest and largest urban campground in america. we will do the right in the middle of new york. if we can do that in new york, we can do that in lots of places
are from the country part >> where is it located in new york? >> it is a place called white bennett field thomas -- hoyt- bennett field. used to be a military base. as a place that with the right kind of planning we can make it as accessible and bringing kids from new york city and other people to experience the outdoors right in their own backyards. >> yesterday, i was in dallas and i was talking with a group of officers in the u.s. military, some who have been in afghanistan, and i interviewed the general of our southern command in haiti, which is terribly deforested. it dawned on me that many people in our armed forces love the public land.
many so, what hunting and a hedging on how the plans, and in the use them for recreational purposes. when hall, they want to go out with their family. military to make a lot of money. you will not be a big land owner, but having access to these great while places -- wild places, is important. can the injured part work with the department of defense to get a connection going -- can the interior department work with the department of defense to get connected with soldiers? >> absolutely. we have been doing that, to make sure there are opportunities for our military personnel to access our public land and provide lots of programs for them. we are one of the lead agencies in terms of providing job opportunities for our military personnel coming back from afghanistan and iraq is
something we take very seriously -- iraq. it is something we take very seriously. 40% of our people who go into the mets' gary actually come from our rural parts of the united states of america -- into our military actually come from the rural parts of the united states of america. for people in rural america, there is a great connection to the outdoors for a lot of reasons. one is tradition and heritage. there is also a great sense of the economic connection, so when you go to the communities that are close to a national park, frankly many of those communities exist because a national park is there. thinking back to the pbs series of ken burns' where they spoke thet america's best idea -- national parks, and they describe that program, they say what we have in the united
states is uniquely american and uniquely democratic because these places like yosemite and other places are not just reserved for the kings and the nobleman. they are reserved for the common person. i think that is so neat. it is a concept that we need -- so unique. as a concept that we need to make sure everyone understands and keep pushing for parry >> thank you, mr. secretary. i will start with some of the questions. as a sportsman of new mexico, and this man would like to know how the america great outdoors program will help us yvette otero mesa will become -- help us see that otero mesa will become a national monument? [laughter] >> we have had many conversations with senator udall who was very interested in
that happening. i have had conversations with former governor richards and as well, so it is one of those special areas that we want to hear more from the american public with respect to how is that we protect those areas. so, that is part of what we will be going for this process. i will say that beside the altar of mesa, there is a huge opportunity we have to create a national park at a place that is about 100,000 acres in the northern part of new mexico, which is a wonderful historic place. we are hopeful that we are able to move the process along. there are a lot of different projects in new mexico. i think it tells me that in every state, whether it is the state of utah, wyoming, new york, maine, or for the, that people have these ideas, and through this dialogue, you want to have all of these ideas
surfaced, including this idea on all to run a sieve. >> this is from that shelton. -- >> sheldon. please discuss the wildlife policy recently announced. many republicans have vowed to kill the policy. can you discuss the misrepresentations? >> from my point of view, we need to make sure we are managing the public state for all of its utility. it is less than 9% of the entire public domain that has a designation of by their willingness or a wilderness study area. we will inventory the parts that have wilderness characteristics, and our management approach will take that into account. i will say this -- i think there are people who i've made more of this issue -- who have made more
of this issue than they should have, including those doing it for whatever political agenda they want to serve. it is interesting. if you look at the bill that is being introduced even in this house of representatives, there are wilderness bills that have been introduced by a number of republicans, because it is not a bad thing. if they recognize that. somebody handed me this i was going through. representative darrell issa. " rep dreier the sending of protection act. rep simpson -- 8 just goes on in terms of places that are being designated as wilderness, including from republicans and the house of representatives. so, i think that one thing that
we can do to tone down their rhetoric, and to say that we, in the united states, have some very special places. they're not republican places. they're not democratic places. they belong to all of us. yes, republicans can support wilderness. democrats can support wilderness. i think we can find common ground here i am very hopeful, and looking forward to conversations with even those who are critics. >> this is from athen manual. how does the department plans to privatize land management plans? p.s. -- great report. [laughter] >> you have touched on that, but you might want to elaborate a little bit more. >> we are doing is developing a
climate science centers around the country, and we do have support. they are considering support for the climate science center because there is a recognition that climate is having an impact on the world than down the united states and that we need a better understanding. we have climate science centers we are opening up in anchorage and working with other universities so that we have the best science available as we the -- begin to plan for the impact we will have from climate change. it is always interesting to me. when you talk about climate change, it gets very political right away. when you go down into the colorado --, reuter river basin, and you're talking to people from arizona, or the seven states then share the basin, and
they recognize that if you talk to the water users, the farmers, the ranchers, the municipal water providers, etc., the biggest challenge they face of the colorado river as we have entered into the 130th . of history amount medicare -- period of history, but the water pressure changes are due to the climate. -- that the water pressure changes are due to the climate. if you further reduce that, what will that mean to the cities? what will it means to the farming community that relies on a colorado river system? what will it mean to the trieds? they get it. what they are saying to us is
that they support understanding the changes that climate change will bring up on our communities in these seven states, and we want to get ahead of the parent dealing with the science, and making sure we have a good understanding of the new injured is an important thing there, and it is important from our country. >> very good. this one seems like he is from utah. he says i am concerned about protection of public land in utah, namely south raphael's well, recapture cannon, and no. 3, cedar mesa. any comments? is there any action on the cedar breaks getting national park or monument status? >> we will have a conversation about all of these lions as we move forward in utah in the days ahead. i have a meeting with governor
herbert who has started a public way and use policy -- a land use policy new top. -- in utah. we will have these on the table. >> we will wind up in a minute, but i am going to more of a couple of them -- morph a couple of them. one is from patrick fitzgerald. how can the department of interior out support renewable energy on tribal lands? >> we have a great potential on tribal lands for renewable energy, and that is a recognition that has to be made. secondly, we are working, both the department of energy, as was the assistant secretary for indian affairs in my department, to identify the areas on
reservations where there is great potential for renewable energy. i will give you just one -- the navajo reservation presents great opportunity in arizona for solar and wind energy, and is very close to the transmission. we hope to be able to work closely with tribal communities so they are not left out of the renewable energy revolution, which i believe we are in the midst of. will happen here in this country. tribal communities should not be left out of that energy opportunity for america. >> last question from chris who was with the conservation alliance foundation. they are pleased to see the antiquities act mentioned in the great outdoors report as a key tool for protecting critical landscapes in places of historic importance.
can you comment on how these acts and monuments help local economies? they understood and you are safeguarding these treasures, but how do monuments of local economies? >> i think monuments like so many other iconic places of our natural landscape. america our economic generators. we think about the state of montana, that has a population of less than 1 million people, yet there are 11 million people a year that goes to montana to hunt, to fish, to hike, to a raft, and just enjoy the great outdoors of big sky country. all of these areas are economic generators. so, we need to understand, and i think the people of the united states our understanding that
there is a direct connection between conservation and the preservation of our land, and economic vitality. it was spoken to in the introduction. it was something that president clinton recognized in the 1990's -- when we take care of our place and recognize our environment, it is consistent with good economics. i remember in colorado will working on economic development there, and we were saying part of the reason we want companies to come is because of the quality of life, and part of the quality of life is the kind of experience we are able to provide some companies and employees in terms of their connection to the outdoors. >> i want to end and say that you are so thoughtful, and i am amazed at how much knowledge you have about our treasured places in the united states. thank you for your public service and for being here at a
check for american progress. -- center for american progress. [applause] >> thank you. that is very nice. thank you. >> it is and gentlemen, please remain seated while our speaker is the part. -- be part. -- depart. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] >> space shuttle discovery is set to lift off today for its final mission. the associated press reports the forecast is a 90% goal for left off at 4:50 p.m. eastern time. it will start our coverage at 4:30 p.m.. >> with congress in recess and a march 4 deadline for funding the federal government, see what house members said for hr1.
the entire debate is online at the congressional comical with complete time lives and .org.cripts at c-span >> sunday, former arkansas governor and presidential candidate mike mike huckabee -- mike huckabee who shares his thoughts on president obama, and his possible running in the election. as the gop field be as if it should, watch your road to the white house sunday. >> earlier this afternoon, white house spokesperson jay carney fill the number of questions on the administration plan fell response to the political unrest and violence in libya and the effected is having on oil and gas prices. he also said a government
shutdown would be detrimental to the economy, administration is confident the administration will find common ground on the current budget. this is 55 minutes. >> good afternoon, everybody. sari i am light. i apologize. -- sorry i am late. i apologize. robert gibbs never apologized kurt >> then i take it back. -- >> robert gibbs never apologized. then i take it back. [laughter] >> since the readout was sent last lead, i want to make sure all of you know that last night around 8:00 p.m. the president spoke with the president of mexico felipe calderón, and president obama expressed admiration for the desire to
rest -- appreciation for the arrest.to re the president said neither the united states or mexico could tolerate violence against those who protect our citizens as this special agent did. president obama also said he was looking forward to welcoming president to tell around to the white house on thursday, march 3, to discuss our bilateral and leadership on key global issues. the president is scheduled to speak with prime minister cameron and president nicholas sarkozy to coordinate response in libya. with that, i am ready for your questions. >> can you talk about the americans that are in the situation with the ferry that is
not able to leave tripoli? are there contingency plans to get them out? >> the state department government is working very hard to evacuate americans from libya to read the details of those operations are available at the state department. and we are doing everything we can to safely evacuate them from libya. >> with the evacuation still not having happened, how does that complicate the u.s. response to the situation? >> as you heard the president say yesterday very clearly what our position is toward the situation and the actions of the libyan government -- a very clear condemnation of the violence against the protesters there and the violence against libyan citizens, he is also very concerned about the safety of
americans. that is a priority. that is all i can say on that. >> any movement on sanctions or a no-fly zone? >> obviously, sanctions are something we are looking at. i do not want to get into specifics. we are working closely with the international community. we are hoping and believe the international community will speak with one voice, has i think is often the case. when the international community comes together, and speaks with one voice, it has a powerful impact, and speaks with the power to persuade a government like libya could go to do the right thing to stop the kind of violence that has been perpetrated on its own people. we are examining all options. sanctions are one of them. i will not specify what will happen or not happened.
we are working with our partners. >> will sanctions be on the agenda when the president speaks to david cameron and nicholas sarkozy? >> they will be discussing libya, and they will discuss different options we can take. the united states, the net kingdom, france, other countries, to affect the behavior of the libyan government. i am sure that broadly speaking, our options will be discussed third >> what kind of military options are being -- discussed. what kind of military options considered? >> no auctions are being taken off the table, we are focused on what actions will in fact the situation in the near term. we would like to see the kind of concerted, broad-base,
international action that can come tell the libyan government to cease and desist from the kind of actions it is taken against its own people. >> as far as keeping u.s. citizens in libya -- safe in libya, who are you guys talking to? the weather is the supposed to change for the least the next few days. >> well, obviously, the security of these american citizens is an extremely high priority, and i would not want to say anything from this podium or publicly that would in fact their security, so i will not get into -- affect their security, so i will not get into anything specifically we are doing. we are doing everything we can to evacuate them, and make sure they safe, but i do not want to get into how we are doing that. >> colonel gaddafi today, in a
rambling phone interview as well as two days ago talked about how the protesters had been said hallucinogens by osama bin laden. i'm wondering if the of frustration had any response to anything mr. gaddafi has said in the last couple of days? >> jake, the way the president has approached this is that our position on the unrest in these countries is not about an individual leader. it is about the responsibility that each government has to not respond with violence to peaceful demonstrators, not restrict the universal rights that their citizens have, and to move forward with the kind of reforms that will be responsive to the legitimate aspirations of their people. it is not about personalities. i would simply note that one consistent theme i think you
have seen in the way we have responded to these the elements, these events in the middle east and the region, is to make it clear that it is also not about the united states. it is not about the united states dictate outcomes, taking leaders, telling countries who can be their leader, and 2 cannot be. what we have seen -- who cannot be. when we have seen are legitimate, organic, grass-roots risings by the people of these countries demanding more freedom and greater opportunity in their lives. again, it is not about individual leaders. it is about the people in these countries. >> the french defense minister has talked openly about imposing a no-fly zone, more openly than the u.s. has talked about it. can you explain why? >> well i do not want to
explain what other leaders in other countries have said, or other senior officials from other countries which what we have said is that we are not willing to specify -- when we have said is we are not want to specify which options are on or off of the table. we are discussing a full range of options with our partners at the u.n. and elsewhere. and we expect to take action in the near term with the international community to, we believe, hopefully compel the libyan government to stop killing its own people. >> any theories as to why other nations had allowed by the libyan government's to extricate their citizens, and the libyan government has not allow the united states to do so? >> again, for the details on our efforts to extract american citizens or help evacuate
american citizens from libya, i did for you to the state department. i just know we are doing everything we can to make that happen. >> thank you. has the president been presented with a military plan on libya from the pentagon? >> i will not get into specific options that are under consideration or not under consideration. i would again point out that we want to work with our international partners, because we think the most effective action in many cases can be when the international committee speaks with one voice and acts in a united way. again, i am not ruling out bilateral options, but i am just saying that that is a focus right now. >> you will not say if the president has been presented
with a military option yet? >> i will not say that. >> is there a list of priority in terms of what options you would like to impose it first? has given administration put together a list of priorities? -- has the administration put together a list of priorities? >> i have been asked, and it has been discussed, the possibility and the sanctions that could be taken. that is on the table. i do not want to categorize which options might come in which order, but we are interested in acting quickly, because we have a situation in libya that demands quick action. we are interested in some of the actions that can be taking in the near term. >> any frustration from the administration that this is a country that the u.s. has no real financial ties to, so the
options, what is available, or what may have been available in egypt or other places is not available in libya? >> as we said, each country that has been effected by this has been different. each country and the region is different. -- in the region is different. each has different political systems and relationships with the united states. so, the way we approach our policy positions and make our decisions based on the reactions in this region these countries is effected by those different -- reactions in this region -- these countries, is obviously effected by that.
each country is different. we deal with that and their differences as necessary. >> you said it is not about an individual leader. you have said all along and it was said during the gypsum situation also. at the same time, the present -- he chibchan situation also. at the same time, the president was not reluctant to use the name mubarak. at the same time, he speaks at -- he seems hesitant to use the name gaddafi. >> again, it is not about the individual leaders. is not about the united states deciding who should lead the country. that is what the people need to decide. that, in many ways, is what this unrest has been about, either specific leaders, regimes, or the way governments have treated their people.
i would point you again to the fact that the leader in this country, kerneled gaddafi -- colonel gaddafi has tried to suggest that the united states was behind the uprising of its own people, or the peaceful demonstrations. that is clearly not the case. i think jake pointed out that he is searching for somebody else to blame. our focus is on the principles we have laid out on the need for these governments in the region and around the world to be responsive to the legitimate aspirations of their people. first and foremost, they should not use violence in response to a peaceful demonstration is. >> i know you said you do not
want to take anything off of the table, but my guess is a lot of the american people would like one of often not taken off the table, and that is sending significant numbers of u.s. troops into libya. can you take that off of the table? >> i do not think it is productive for us as we are examining our options to take one or the other off of the table. we are focused on working with our partners internationally to take steps that will persuade or compel the libyan government to .hange its behavior >> so if you will not take it off the table, it is on the table part >> we are not taking auctions off of the table. >> on the wisconsin situation,
the president has been called out to respond to the workers. is that under consideration? >> not that i am aware of. what we have made pretty clear is that the president thinks, and we think -- he stated this -- obviously a lot of states in a union are dealing with fiscal issues and big problems in their state budgets that need to be addressed. they need to act responsibly, tighten their belts, and live within their means, just as we in washington, the executive branch, and congress need to do with our federal situation. but, again, he believes very strongly that the way to achieve that, just like the way to achieve it here, is that the people need to come to the table, work together, share the sacrifice, and, you know,
produced the result of the people in the states want, and extrapolating to the larger picture here reject the whole country, and do the things we need to do -- the whole country, and do the things we need to do and invest in our future. >> have you been asked about what he set about joining the alliance pact in 2007 when he said if american workers are being denied their rights to organize in the white house, i will put on a comfortable pair of shoes and walked in the ticket line with you? is he willing to fulfill that promise? >> i think the president has obviously an ability to be heard when he speaks, in these go to the situation in wisconsin and his views on that. i will be the end that. >> de thinking men that when he
-- to use thinking meant that when he said that? >> the present has different names of speaking out on issues and being hurt, and clearly in need is two points down on the situation which it be in her region being heard, -- being heard, and clearly he needed the points known. he takes very seriously the situations they find themselves in because he understands abetted federal level, but he encourages the parties involved to come together and sacrifice together and reach a solution that serve the interests of all the people in the states, just like he is trying to do for the broader nation. >> the inspector general of law home loan modification program says it has effectively failed. does the president disagree? >> hold on one second.
i am not sure i have anything on that. i understand, i understand. ok. >> whether or not the president agrees with a record, spencer bachus of alabama plans a hearing in the house and he is quite to try to cut funding for it. will you fight that attempted? >> i will not speculate about what we will do in response to a possible action by the center of paris so, if and when something happens, we will have a -- by a senator. so, if and when something happens, we will have a response. aboute been very clear
the seriousness with which we have been trying to deere -- deal with stabilizing the housing market, helping responsible homeowners stay in their homes. the fact is, as you state, tens of thousands are in their homes because of the program, and we are working to make sure that those responsible homeowners that can be held are able to stay in their homes -- helped can be able to stay in the house. >> local the wall street journal says -- "the wall street journal" says you are working out a new program. >> i did not have a comment on possible programs we might be working on.
>> can you talk about the saudi national a rest of last night in texas apparently tried soon construct a bomb targeting former president bush? >> i can say a few things about that. the president was informed about the operation by john brown and prior to the arrest. -- brennan prior to the arrest. the president thinks the fbi, the department of justice, and the rest of our law enforcement and home lan security professionals to continue to keep our citizens say and absurd the commitment that they're enormous responsibilities come and -- and sir -- served with the commitment that there enormous response abilities come and. >> were you aware this was coming, or this was a lone wolf terrorist they were worried about? >> he was informed that the arrest was coming.
>> can you say whether the president has asked secretary case to come up with a contingency plans to enforce a no-fly zone or start working with nato? there are some reports said that is taking place. tatarstan these are options, but our planes being updated -- i understand these are options, but are the planes being updated at least? >> we are examining all options, and that option has been tabled in the press, but it has been discussed in other venues. by exploring those options, we are looking at feasibility, and i mean that broadly about all of the options that could potentially be on the table. without getting into updated plans for this option or that, exploring the option is means just that -- examining with the actions are, and what might work. >> what kind of consultations
have there been? >> i refer you to the apparent -- the defense department. i do not want to go down one line on one option and leave you with the impression that i am ranking them. again, we are examining all of the options that are available to us, and conversations around the examination are taking place. >> on the issue of sanctions, is there concern that some set of sanctions are going to harm the free part of libya? the eastern border where gaddafi does not have control? is there a way to do sanctions that can help one part of the country while punishing the government? >> as we look at the auctions, we are obviously examining the impact of different options, and
our interest is not in causing more harm to innocent people in the libya. those are the people we're trying to help. the international community is trying to help by doing what it can to get the libyan government to stop this behavior. so, i am sure that is a consideration about how you would execute different options in a way that have the greatest impact toward the goal we are trying to achieve without negative consequences. because you raise the humanitarian aspect of this, the libyan government has a responsibility not only to refrain from violence, but to allow humanitarian assistance to reach those in need. as humanitarian assistance is made available, that is another responsibility that the libyan government's can be held
responsible for. >> is this a full-luncheonettes. crisis? >> the administration --, full- fledged humanitarian crisis? >> the administration views this as a serious situation. that is why the president is having phone calls with other leaders tonight on this issue, and will continue to have conversations with other leaders about it. this is definitely a focus of our efforts. >> one question on the continuing resolution debate, is the president opened to signing a short-term continuing resolution that does have some spending cuts in it? >> chuck, there are two broad points to make. the president made clear when he released his budget that he believes we need to cut spending. democrats on the hill have also said that they agree we need to
cut spending, as have republicans. he wants to work together. the president wants to work together with the leaders of congress, both parties, to make that happen. on the issue of the continuing resolution, the short-term funding of the bill, and how that process will be negotiated out, i do not want to pre-judge different options, but we believe we can work something out, and that the american people want us to work something out. as the leaders of both houses of congress have said, republican and democrat, and as the president has said, it is not in the interest of the american people for the government to shut down, and that is because principally the impact that it could have on the economy. we are still in stages of recovery here, and the negative consequences of a shutdown, the
uncertainty that would create, could be detrimental to our economy. >> pc encouraged or discouraged what he is watching take place between speaker john boehner and senator harry reid? >> it believes the leaders need to get together and work something out -- he believes the leaders need to get together and work something out. he and senior leaders are engaged on the health care there is a congressional process -- and engage in. there is a congressional process. >> last week the president suggested one consequence of the government shutdown would be social security checks and not the way out. during the clinton shut down, they did continue going out. is there reason to believe it would be different this time around?
>> but they said, we are confident we can find a common ground -- like i said, we are confident that we can find a common ground that we need to avoid a government shutdown, and readers agree that that is what we need to do. the -- the leaders agree that that is what we need to do. the president was quite get the consequences, the potential consequences of failing to act and prevents a shut down. some recipients, new retirees, new applicants, might not receive their checks. if retirees had questions about their checks, if they have a change of address, all of those things could prevent them from getting a check. there are obviously consequences that direct the fact people who are recipients of social security benefits, and there could be. the broader point is that the uncertainty created by this, the
number of consequences that could unfold if this does happen, would create the kind of environment that would be harmful to the economy overall there the speaker of the house that he is focused on jobs in the economy -- overall. the speaker of the house said he is focused on jobs in the economy. the president makes clear every day that he is focused on jobs and the economy. we do not want and we do not believe the leaders of congress, and we know the american people do not want action to be taking in washington that upsets this recovery, sets us back, effects growth, and affects job creation. a woman being shot for standing on the balcony.
we are being murdered and the world is just standing by. what is the message of the media president is giving to the people that are being killed in libya? >> we absolutely support the people of libya. to the people of bahrain and the people of egypt. people buddhist -- express their desire for change in their country. i take you back to our governing principles as we approach these problems. we are working with the international community. maher -- the president has been very clear about how strongly condemns this action.
>> [inaudible] >> we are interested in outcomes. we are interested in taking the measures that will actually have the desired effect, to get the libyan government to stop the bloodshed. the president is absolutely focused on this. as a secretary clinton and the rest of the national security team. >> we have talked about americans on the ground. >> i do not want to speculate about what might happen. anytime you have a situation like this, you have to gauge what the response will be to the actions you take.
it is a fluid dynamic and dangerous situation. we are committed to getting this right so that the libyan people no longer are subjected to the kind of violence that they're being subjected to by the government. >> back on the situation with libya. gas prices are going up here in america. is the administration asking countries in africa that export oil to us -- are they asking canada, mexico, saudi arabia to increase their oil output to keep prices down? >> as whenever you have unrest
in this part of the world, there will be reactions in the will market. that is something that we have seen and the situation remains fluid. we are monitoring this closely. we are very cognizant of the fact that oil prices can affect the economy and can affect people and their wallets. we are in touch with the ida is an oil-producing countries. we have the capacity to act in the event of a major supply disruption. qaeda lawn to speculate on any particular action. -- i do not want to speculate on any particular action, predict what may or may not happen. the global has a lot of experience in managing the kind of destruction that we have seen -- disruption that we have seen. our focus is on monitoring of
this and making sure we know what our options are. >> the issue of supply and demand -- is the administration concerned that analyst talk about the possibility of $5 a gallon? the economy is starting to show signs of breaking. what is happening right now? >> i can assure you, april, that we are closely watching the situation. i do not want to speculate where oil prices may or may not go or the effects of unrest in libya may or may not have -- we have the capacity to act in case of a major supply disruption. we are talking with international institutions and the oil-producing nations as we
examine the development in the market. >> there are people being killed in libya. what is the timeline for the administration getting the international community together and getting a tangible response? what is the time frame? >> we are working on this. aggressively. with the goal of taking action that can be most effective, most efficiently. i am not going to tell you that this will happen tomorrow. we are talking about actions that we are coordinating with our international partners and i do not want to preview -- believe me, we are moving very quickly. >> it is a very fast-moving
situation over and libya. is there even a timeline and before getting a response in place? >> look at the international reaction. this is a case where what libya has done has garnered a very little support around the globe. quite the contrary trade the international community is speaking almost entirely with one voice in condemning what is happening there. i do not believe -- this is an opportunity to act in a concerted way. >> in node timeline? >> right. -- notes timeline? >> right. >> several democratic members of congress to pass the president's [inaudible]
keep prices from rising too much. is this something that he is considering? how is he reacting to the requests of congress? >> all i would repeat what i said. we have the capacity to act in case of a major disruption. right now, we are monitoring the situation. we are discussing with the iea what is going on in the markets. i will not preview what might happen. >> he advocated using oil from the petroleum reserve back in 2008. the price was about $120 per barrel. >> what is important about that to remember is that the causes
of the surge in oil prices into a dozen aid for quite different from the circumstances that we are seeing -- to thousand a were quite different from the circumstances that we are seeing now. we have the capacity to act in case of a major disruption. there is not a one size fits all response on the circumstances are quite different. all the way in the back -- >> my name is sarah. if we should have a government shutdown, i wanted to ask about social security. obviously, that would affect me. [laughter] what you just said, that is not going to be touched? >> first of all, part of the problem is the uncertainty that it creates.
there's a point i want to make -- we believe that we can work together with congress to avoid a shutdown. a shutdown would be disruptive to the economy. it would affect our capacity to grow and create jobs. that is enough, that -- that is an outcome that nobody wants. i do not want to predict what might happen in this circumstance that we very much hope to avoid. >> about the uprising, you said that all the nations are different and all the relationships are different. what's metrics is the administration is using to evaluate the uprising in one country as opposed to another country? >> because each country is different, if you have to measure that. we are guided by these principles that i talked about yesterday. they were enunciated by the president in his speech in cairo.
about the need for the country in the region to respond to the aspirations other people. they had a problem on their hands. that still pertains. that is our approach. no violence, and respect to the universal rights of your citizens, actions, reforms that to respond to the demands and aspirations that are legitimate of the people. in terms of how you evaluate -- again, these are events that are happening from the ground up. we have all seen that in egypt, how people on the streets represented all walks of life. we look at that in each country. fundamentally, peaceful demonstrations should never be responded to with violence.
>> [inaudible] is there any comments from the white house [inaudible] >> i have no comment on that because it is an ongoing investigation. >> the vice-president is meeting today. what was the president not on that list? it did the president dropped in on that meeting? >> i do not believe that the president did. i will double check. if he did, i will let you know. but i do not believe he did. this was a lot scheduled meeting. the vice-president meets with labor periodically. >> is the president trying to keep his distance from this? >> he made very clear his view
on the need for public-sector employees to tighten their belts, just like everybody else. his concern that to what not have been is the fiscal problems that state's find themselves in be used as an excuse to go after the fundamental bargaining rights, collective bargaining rights that underlying foundation of unions. i think he made his position on that very clear. >> different topic. following yesterday's decision by the department of justice, members of congress want to overturn of a lot. the administration has the -- will we be expecting support from the president for this legislation to make the law inoperative? >> the president has long been
believed that the defense of marriage act is an unnecessary and unfair law. he supports the repeal of the law. he does support the repeal, yes. >> why did the president tells us that ray davis was a diplomat? >> mr. davis -- an employee of the embassy and he was granted diplomatic immunity under the vienna convention. what we are saying very clearly is that he needs to be released in accordance with those treaties, which applied to the personnel of countries, not just the united states, but pakistan, and every other country that participates in in
those important trees. it is a fundamental principle that cannot be compromised. >> this man was working for the central intelligence agency. >> what we're talking about here is the fact that he was perceived by the pakistan the government as an employee of the state of the embassy of the united states embassy, and had the protections of the vienna convention. that needs to hold true and he needs to be released. >> [inaudible] is there any guidance white house officials gets about the way and it is appropriate to meet off-campus with lobbyists? >> this administration has taken extraordinary actions to be transparent. this question stems from a story that was absurd.
we released hundreds of thousands of records, and voluntarily, something new administration had never done before. the decisions about where we did those records are available to every american citizen, to be reviewed. all different types of people come to the white house for meetings on issues. our level of transparency is unprecedented. what i would say is as any of you who've walked around this complex and no, in the west wing, not like the tv show. it is a very small space. very limited space. jackson plays is a white house
conference center so designated and when we have large meetings, sometimes we use that space. >> would you agree that there is a transparency loophole here if the goal is to show that right now, it is routine for white house officials to meet off- campus and there is no daylight on that? >> it is routine for the white house officials to meet with all types of people, including lobbyists. the suggestion that we are not being transparent is laughable given the unbelievable precedents that this administration sent -- sets. the system that produces the records operates in certain buildings and not others.
caldor operates and why, i refer you to the secret service. -- how that operates and why, i refer you to the secret service. we believe it equally in its. >> would be inappropriate for officials to intentionally and arrange a meeting off-campus? >> we have meetings with all sorts of people. we have them here. those records are available. >> if you chose to go off campus -- yes or no? >> the guiding principle is transparency and we believe that nobody is hiding where they are meeting. the meetings that happen in jackson place -- is a big meeting place. we did not control where -- in terms of -- one >> you could
change the policy. >> i am not aware what policies might be instituted in the future. it is important to remind to that the release information that has never been released before. you were covering the previous administration. they went to the supreme court to bourbon to the disclosure of people who were meeting with the vice president. we voluntarily released records that are available we never said there was a way to get to every name and every meeting. the principle is disclosure and we have gone to extraordinary lengths to make that happen. i do not want to predict about future policies that may be put in place. i want to remind everybody about what we have done and why.
>> what is the level of concern that my -- about nine metric tons that are stockpiled in libya? >> you said that it is in port for us to move quickly on libya. the president said wednesday that secretary clinton would be going to geneva on monday. that is 5 days. a lot of libyans can die in five days. >> secretary clinton, the president, officials at every level are working on this. full time. i can assure you. >> i am not quite finished. that -- it is important for us to speak as one voice. >> we are absolutely interested in examining sanctions and as a
possible option. we are examining all options. we will take action as soon as possible. >> on the european counterparts, camera and sarkozy are getting calls from the president greg is there any outreach to get the other members of the u.n. security council? is that on the table? >> not that i am aware of. the president will be discussing with other foreign leaders going forward. >> when the president makes phone calls, there is always some groundwork before then. would you describe this as a decision call on what is like to happen next? or is this just continuing be
consultations? >> i would not want to characterize beyond what i said. >> on the assets of gaddafi and his family, the swiss government has frozen the assets. are the wheels in motion for that to happen here? >> we are examining a variety of options. we will move as quickly as possible to implement them. >> on the rest in texas, -- all rest in texas, -- >> i did not want to get into the details of this investigation. i am not going to comment. >> have either of you spoken to president bush about this? >> i do not believe he has. >> there are allegations that its [unintelligible]
is there a loophole system should be screening process be tightened to screen out potential energy hottest stocks -- potential jihadists. >> for questions about immigration, i direct you to -- >> [inaudible] >> i do not have the announcement on presidential travel. >> there are some -- and the have any sort of [inaudible] >> i would not and could not speak about operations that may or may not happen.
i did not want to suggest that anything is happening. all breeds by the actions of pirates that resulted -- outraged by the actions of pirates that resulted in death by american citizens. i do not want to get into it. i will take one more. >> given the fact that the libyan government has abandoned rational reasoning and behavior by turning on its own citizens, is it realistic to think that sanctions and international efforts will convince the to stop doing so? >> i do not want to predict trade with the libyan government will do -- this administration, leaders of governments around the world, they are outraged and appalled by what we have seen happen in libya. they are taking the actions that
>> of the president has said he is confident that the markets will able to ride out the situation in libya and that the price of oil will stabilize. ap he says the average price per gallon is $3.23 per gallon. in about 45 minutes, we'll take you live to the pentagon. a $35 billion contract to build nearly 200 airborne refueling tankers. the two companies competing are boeing and the european aeronautic defense and space company. we will have the pentagon briefing and the announcement of the contracts just after 5:00. this weekend, the others will talk about how to grow their states' economies, education,
and cyber security. they will gather in washington. we will have live coverage throughout the weekend. next, we will take you to cape canaveral. space shuttle discovery is set to make its final flight. liftoff is scheduled for 4:50 eastern. they are not% sure that that time would stick. -- they are 90% sure that that time with a stick. >> they are not confident at this time. >> we do not know right now. they are having a discussion. right now, we only have a couple of minutes to make the news. we are thinking at this time, we will not be able to support.
>> calm down. they are working on a little issue over there. in order to support that, i would like you to do your polls on time. i will as well and we will be ready to go. >> copy that. >> thank you. >> this is a shuttle launch control at t -14 minutes, 10 seconds. the safety officer says that the range is red and it is a no go at this point, due to a problem with their central command computer. >> launch director directing his team to stand by. we will give them an opportunity to work the issue. hopefully, we will be able to make our launch time.
>> complete. >> 1139. >> do you know if we have enough information to say if we are in violation? >> they are working it over on their side. they know what the issue is and they are trying to get comfortable and to see if their system is incapable or not let's give them a few minutes. >> is it something that they are
currently in violation of? >> i do not get that description either. >> this is shuttle launch control with 11 minutes, 20 seconds remaining. the polls will be conducted in a few moments. at this time, we do know that the wind safety officer range is in no-go. they continued to work out an issue that the notified shuttle launch director and the test director of moments ago. it had to do with their computer screens and they do need to have the ability to carefully monitor launched and has sent. they are an integral part of the safe flying of the space shuttle launch. we will stand by and wait for their word.
>> the head, sir. >> this particular type of issue from the range -- there are no issues with the vehicle. i would be inclined to take this issue. the do you concur? >> i would agree, sir. >> go ahead. >> we are considering taking this issue. assuming that you do not have a problem with that. >> i think that is the right decision. >> shuttle launch director of discussing with houston flight director richard jones -- >> a plan to come out of our hold on time and count down to t - five minutes, allowing some extra time for the range to work
>> discover launch director -- >> go for discovery. the range is having a little bit of an issue, the display of their command system. hopeful that we will get through it. not sure if we will or not. we will take this on down to the wire. we will see if we cannot get to a good place today. >> sounds like a great plan, mike. copy? >> standing by. >> as you heard, shuttle launch director briefing discovery commander on the issue at hand.
>> stm is go. >> safety council? >> safety council is go. >> go to five minutes and holding. >> five minutes and holding. >> discovery is go. >> yes, sir. the launch team is ready to proceed. >> copy all of that. i will do my polls at this time. there are no constraints to launch. verify? >> there are no constraints to launch. >> copy. >> copy? >> whether has no constraints. >> copy that. >> the vehicle is work -- is
looking perfect, and the weather is looking great. we are a go. >> copy that. we will take it on down to five. >> that is a plan -- that is a good plan. >> if we get the go from srl, we will be a go. >> that is affirmative. >> we are looking at shuttle launch director. the system launch director charlie blackwell thompson to
decide. discovery flood director, stephanie still some. -- flow director, stephanie stillson. >> we will put a hold at five minutes. >> reminding the sequencer team to insert a hold at t minus five minutes. we will be coming out of our hold it nine minutes to enable the range safety officer and the team a few more minutes to work their problem. they are currently add no-go. >> two minutes remaining on are sold. -- our hold. are only issue is a red condition from the eastern range, the central command
system of this leg is not operating properly and it needs to be for them to give a go for launch. >> one minute, 5 seconds remaining. >> go ahead. >> activation complete. copy? >> 55 seconds remaining in the hold. once again, we will come out of the hold at t- nine minutes. between now and then, if the range safety system condition is
corrected, we will continue to countdown for launch. if not, we will hold at five minutes. >> 25 seconds remaining. >> tested few seconds away from resuming our countdown. -- just a few seconds away from resuming our countdown. >> mark. the sequence has been initiated. >> the ground launch sequencer has been initiated. they are automatically controlled by the gls computer. >> thank you. >> hour window will expire --
our linda will expire -- window will expire about five minutes after our preferred lunchtime. we did launch time. -- launch time. >> a minutes, 17 seconds and counting. all systems are go. accent for the range safety officer, we stand by as they continued to work on their problem. >> pilot flipped switches in the cockpit.
>> 7 minutes, 30 seconds and counting. >> discovery otc to the crew of discovery, it enjoyed the ride -- enjoy the ride. >> thank you very much. for those watching, get ready to witness the power of discovery. >> order test director talking with space shuttle commander. >> copy, thank you. >> 6 minutes, 50 seconds. >> did they give us an update?
today's launch window expires in two minutes and 28 seconds. >> we have an indication [unintelligible] that is affirmative. >> all systems are go with the exception of the eastern range. they continued to trouble shoot a problem with their central command system display. two minutes remaining in the hold today. two minutes remaining and our launch window. -- in our launch window. >> final recommendation, please?
>> same one. >> nasa test director checking with the eastern range on their status. we have one minute and 30 seconds remaining in our window today. >> [unintelligible] bill had. >> i have confirmation from the win the commander. we are go. -- wing commander. >> is that the verification? >> we need to press on. >> a copy that.
>> of 40 seconds remaining in our launch window. range is go. >> negative, sir. >> i can remove the hold. >> we need to proceed. >> this is verified. >> it will pick up momentarily. pick up the clock. 3, 2, 1. >> five minutes and counting. >> reconfigure heaters. >> of 41 seconds and counting. all systems are go and whether
is green. -- weather is green. >> i have two seconds of hold remaining. >> [unintelligible] copy that. >> the pilot reporting -- >> t minus 4 minutes and counting. the final helium the purge of both engines is under way. >> copy. final test of these services is under way. this is a program pattern of
movement designed to verify their readiness of the flight services. minus 3 minutes and 30 seconds and counting. >> final service checks are complete. discovery's three main engines will be put through a series of maneuvers before launch. >> t minus three minutes and counting. we are completing purge of the shuttle main engines. >> no unexpected errors.
t-minus one minute and 30 seconds and counting. all systems are go. about 90 seconds away from a launch of space shuttle discovery on her final mission. t-minus 1 minute, 10 seconds and counting. the hydrogen tank is now at the proper flight pressure. t-minus one minute and counting. the three engines are ready to start. the booster joint heaters are being deactivated at this time. t-minus 48 seconds and we are transferring to internal power. coming up on a go for auto
sequence start. >> auto sequence start. >> we have a go for the auto sequence start the onboard computers have primary control of the functions. >> 20 seconds. >> the water pressure system has been activated, protecting the discovery and the launch pad from the acoustical energy waves. >> we have main engine start. >> 2, 1 -- the final lift off of discovery, a tribute to the pride of america's space shuttle team. the shuttle has cleared the tower. >> discovery of making one last reached for the stars.
by the pilots and the mission specialist. mission specialist mike barrett and steve bowen. the ins is combined with the solid rocket boosters -- one minute, 50 seconds into the flight. we are standing by for separation of the twin rocket boosters. the altitude is 24 miles. >> booster separation confirmed. the onboard computers fine-tuned the flight.
two minutes, 25 seconds into the flight. the altitude is 37 miles. discovery now getting a boost into orbit from its maneuvering system engines on both sides of the tail. these two engines will burn for two minutes and 37 seconds. >> we do have the updates and we did launch -- the contingency r are in plus 230. >> copy. ready to copy. >> 11.9. 15.4. >> that is a good read back on
both. >> discovery can now make it to this -- emergency landing sites in europe. they are giving the crew some of the time information due to be later than planned launch. three minutes and 50 seconds into the flight, traveling 4,700 miles per hour. discovery, you are-to return. -- negative return. >> all three main engines continue to function as expected. the altitude is 62 miles down range from the kennedy space center.
>> that call indicating that discovery has enough energy to make it then a lower than planned orbit. however, all three engines continue to burn as expected. >> >> to bid -- to give a better communication with nasa's satellites. >> discovery, your single- engine. >> single engine, 104. >> discovery can now make it to emergency landing sites in europe should to be zero engines failed.